The holidays are a mixed bag. Some people seem to be blissfully happy, relishing in making ginger bread houses and purchasing their presents and gift wrapping in October. Then I have a handful of friends who completely lose their sh*t during the holidays. Their singledom turns them into weepy willows and they misplace their minds and sanity. I’m not sure if it’s the mistletoe, the punch bowl with no one to fill their cups. Whatever the occasion, they all seem to need constant supervision and be handled with kid fleeced-lined gloves.
I fall somewhere in the middle. I have a penchant for Christmas music, anything sung by Bublé or even Bing-King-of-White-Christmas-Crosby. Currently, I’m listening to choral music (Kings Choir Cambridge is my jam and I can’t get enough.)
I love the decorations and excuse to drink warm wine and sugary drinks. Yet, New Year’s Eve gives me serious acute anxiety.
“What will you be doing for New Years?” in Manhattan is a loaded question. Almost everyone answers with something fabulous.
“Going to St Barts, White Party Miami, just a quick ski trip in Gstaad,” everybody seems to answer.
Normally, I passively respond with a quick, “not sure yet,” knowing full well I’ll be at my parents’ house going to bed around 11 pm and praying to the gods that next year will be better then this one.
Wherever you fall in the holiday pendulum I’ve created a survival guide to help you get through the season. Here it is.
Holiday Survival Guide:
- Find yourself a punch bowl and fill it. That’s correct, I’m encouraging you to go to T.J. Maxx and get a bowl like your crazy old aunt Sue would have. Big enough to fit a puppy in with a huge ladle and little glasses. Fill that bad boy up with a Martha recipe, or any recipe really. Even if it has 7Up or ginger ale, so long as there’s booze and a maraschino cherry that’ll do.
- Watch any movie with Hugh Grant. I know the obvious choice here would be Love Actually, but Four Weddings and A Funeral is cinematic greatness.
- Listen to Mariah Carey’s version of, “All I Want For Christmas,” each morning. There is no way any human could be in a bad mood. This song is like Prozac for the ears.
- Bake. I get that a lot of my remedies revolve around food and drink, but you tell me if you are still in a bad mood with the smell of warm cinnamon wafting through your house.
- Go to a skating rink and watch people whiz by you. There is something antiquated and pure that skating brings to your subconscious mind. It’s simple winter fun and will warm any stone-cold heart.
- Little Women. Find it. Watch it. Any version.
- Give gifts. I don’t care if it’s as small as bringing a damn candy cane to your best friend’s house. Giving is truly better then receiving and there is something joyous in watching any adult turn into their six-year old versions of themselves while they unwrap something.
- Purchase anything made out of spruce or evergreen. If you can’t do a tree buy a bow or a wreath. The smell of nature, forest and pine will trigger some sort of happy memory for your Scrooge self; I guarantee it.
- Wear sparkle. You know you’ve wanted to all year, now here is your excuse to dress as if your kindergarten self styled you. If you have rhinestones or satin on, nothing can stop you from being your best self.
- Buy yourself some bubbly. (Again, seems like I’m just trying to get you drunk but, you tell me the last time you were grumpy with a champers buzz.) December begs for something with fizz-albeit prosecco, cava, or of course champagne. Pop it. Celebrate it. Anything really.
- Flannel. Flannel everything-sheets, pjs, robe, blanket. I don’t care what it is just get it on and around your body.
- Gratitude. Find yourself some gratitude. Look at the people around you and be thankful. Even if you are turning into an old spinster with no one to join you under the mistletoe, at least you have good friends to whine about it with over no doubt; mulled wine.